Sweden to launch B2B licence application window from March 2023
The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has reiterated its desire to push forward with B2B licensing for online gambling suppliers.
Providers that intend to service the market should have the opportunity to submit licence applications to the regulator from 1 March 2023.
The gaming software licence will then be added to the Gaming Act legislation as a legal requirement from 1 July 2023.
The purpose of the proposed regulation is to improve the country’s channelisation rates by keeping Swedish consumers in the regulated market.
Customers will be far less likely to play with unlicensed operators if their preferred casino games or payment methods are no longer available.
“The purpose of the licence requirement for gaming software is to discourage illegal gambling,” said the SGA.
“Unlicensed game operators must not be able to use suppliers who manufacture, provide, install and/or change game software for game operators who have a licence in Sweden.”
A report published by independent research firm Copenhagen Economics suggests the channelisation rate for online casino is around 75%.
The update means suppliers will have to pick and choose their clients carefully in Sweden. They will no longer be able to provide both regulated licensees and offshore operators at the same time.
The SGA: “Unlicensed game operators must not be able to use suppliers who manufacture, provide, install and/or change game software for game operators who have a licence in Sweden.”
The regulation will only apply to gaming suppliers for online games of chance. For example, providers of public benefit lotteries will be exempt.
The SGA is currently developing the appropriate documentation to enforce the proposals in alignment with the proposed timetable.
However, the B2B licence requirement is still only a proposal at this stage as The Riksdag is still to make a concrete decision on the matter.
Swedish trade body BOS said it was supportive of the B2B licence requirements, as long as the conditions are only enforced to support the intention of increased channelisation.
There are some concerns in the market over the potential technical burden this could put on suppliers if the regulation is not created in an efficient manner.
For context, the Canadian province of Ontario – which launched regulated online gambling on 4 April 2022 – went live with a similar rule, whereby suppliers had to be in receipt of a licence.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has since increased the pressure on licensed suppliers to cut all commercial ties with unregulated operators.